THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Restoration of Soil Health for Achieving Sustainable Growth in Agriculture
Total geographical area of Pakistan is 79.61 million hectares (m.ha.). Area under cultivation is 21.59 m.ha.; of which, only 5.34 m.ha. (i.e., 25 percent) is free from soil limitations and is fit for intensive agriculture [Mian and Mirza (1993)]. The remaining agricultural lands have various types of problems including formation of slow permeability, water logging, salinity and sodicity, and wind and water erosion. Thus, on an average, three out of four hectares of cultivated land in Pakistan are in poor health. This in turn is causing temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land. Therefore, poor soil health is posing serious threat to the sustainable growth of agriculture. The most important on-farm effects of land are summarised in Table 1.
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